In for a Treat
“For holiday time, it’s always an effective strategy to indicate that this is one of the few products that can be shared,” Caputi said. “Because they are memorable and sensory like flowers and/or going to a good restaurant.”
Taste is important, but if a product doesn’t look good, recipients will never get that far. Brown said that one key to standing out is versatility of packaging. Mints that come in packaging shaped like a house could be a good fit for a real estate company, while a large tin of assorted treats with a bank’s logo on the front could create a positive association with that company.
“Not only do we want to have a variety of options at every price point, but [also] packaging that will get noticed,” Brown said. “With all of our packaging and fill options, it really allows distributors to get creative.”
Tom Riordan, president and owner of Maple Ridge Farms, Mosinee, Wis., said that paying attention to what’s popular in other industries can help with creating effective packaging. “When developing a new packaging, we look carefully at what is most popular in the retail market,” Riordan said. “Seeing what companies like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Gump’s and Saks Fifth Avenue are doing can get you going in the right direction.”
With so many products on the market, distributors need to choose wisely when it comes to purchasing goods. What products will yield the most reward? What products are more effective than others?
Riordan said that one mistake distributors make is judging candy or chocolate simply by how it looks in a catalog. “Don’t simply rely on virtual samples,” Riordan said. “Virtual samples are great—they’re free, quick to get and can simply be emailed to the client. But clients can’t taste a virtual sample. Get a sample for the client to taste. If it’s really good, the product will help sell itself.”